I want to start off by saying that I am not an expert in any of this—except maybe my own wants and needs.
I don’t have any fancy degrees or years of counseling experience. These are just my observations and opinions. My common sense really. Isn’t that what most smart decisions in life come down to—common sense?
My husband and I are fortunate enough to have a marvelous group of friends. They are a wee bit older than me, but this means nothing; I love them. I am just shy of being a Boomer and my friends are between 60 and 75 years of age. To my shock and dismay, most of them are not having sex! Some for more than 20 years!
I am not saying the hubby and I are knocking it out of the park every night, but we do all right. We are happy and connected. We actively seek out this time together, and it is our plan to continue as long as possible.
Our friends are beautiful, vibrant, fun-loving people. Some have been together since they were young, fresh-eyed lovers full of hopes and dreams. Others came together later in life after unsuccessfully trying to make things work with partners not meant for them. Regardless, they seem to have a genuine affection for one another.
Some are still enjoying sex and making it work for them. For the couples that aren’t, I am unsure how they have gone without for so long. I don’t understand how people can be so close, yet so far apart.
What made them lose that special intimacy? They sleep next to each other at night. Did they forget to touch each other? Did they forget they love each other?
Communication is the biggest obstacle in the way of a fulfilled sex life—when there are no physical limitations present. Even when we are older, and know ourselves better, we still have those persistent little voices in our heads that say:
“Maybe I am not sexy anymore.”
“What if he (or she) doesn’t find me attractive?”
“What if I can’t perform the way my partner wants?”
To work beyond these doubts, we have to remember what brought us together in the first place. The feeling we got when looking at each other from across a room. That spark of desire. Remember the work we did to make that love happen around children and life’s obligations. We must remember how and why we rekindled our love story.
The need for intimacy is ageless. If we want to continue growing the beautiful thing between us and our partner, someone will have to put their doubts and embarrassments aside and broach the subject.
Make the first move—someone has to! If having intercourse after many years of abstinence is too much pressure, start with some naked snuggling. Spooning is a great place to start as it can facilitate communication without having to be face to face. It is incredible how skin-to-skin contact with a loved one can change our mental and physical state. It breaks down barriers.
Be playful and lighthearted to make communication easier. When the time is right, move on to more. This is also an excellent way for people who are no longer able (physically) to have intercourse to continue nurturing intimacy. It is so important for a loving, connected relationship. Mixing in a few toys could increase the fun factor here as well!
For those with a partner who doesn’t want to have sex anymore, let’s have a look at why:
Are we fulfilling our partner’s needs as well as our own? Is it only about what feels right for us?
Perhaps try focusing exclusively on their pleasure for a while. Be loving and attentive. Compliment how they look. We want to make our partner feel like the most important person in the world—after all, aren’t they? Remind them of that sacred, shared connection. This might bring them around to a more open and willing frame of mind.
If physical limitations are still a concern, seek professional help. There is a vast array of options available to help support and compensate for the normal aging process—for both women and men.
I also hope that my generation, Gen Xers, will change this trend of abstinence and do their part to establish long-lasting intimacy and connectedness well into their golden years. This is the time in our lives when we can concentrate on each other without all those outside distractions!
If our partner is feeling amorous in the morning, great. If we like a little afternoon siesta, go for it! Just don’t let time slip through your fingers—we never know how much of it we have left.
All we have is now. Seize the day!